Hey guys. Today we will be discussing Switzerland visa requirements and application procedures. Do you know that you must have a visa before you can travel to Switzerland? However, if you want to visit Switzerland and you don’t have a visa, you don’t have to panic. Tontimes is here to guide you on the Switzerland Visa Requirements/Application guidelines.
A Switzerland visa requires you to meet a number of requirements as well as provide certain documents. However, if you want to apply for a Swiss visa, here are the things you should know.
Switzerland Visa Requirements and Application Guideline
Switzerland is located in western, central, and southern Europe. It is one of the most developed countries in the world. Switzerland is officially known as the Swiss Confederation and ranks first in the world in several national performance metrics.
The country has a total area of 41,285 km2 and a population of 8,508,898 people. However, Switzerland has no official capital, but Bern is its legally recognized capital. More so, the two most populous cities, Zürich and Geneva, are global cities and economic powerhouses.
Although Switzerland is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, it is not a member of the European Union. It joined the Schengen Area in 2008, and since then, international visitors with a Schengen visa have been able to enter its territory.
Switzerland issued 451,528 uniforms Schengen visas in 2017 based on 517,010 visa applications received at Swiss consulates and embassies around the world. The rejection rate for visas was 7.25 percent.
Amazing fact: Switzerland has not been involved in any type of war since 1815!
Switzerland Entry Requirements
Because Schengen area member states have abolished borders for their citizens, EU/EEA nationals need only a valid identification card to enter Switzerland.
Read Also: Schengen Visa Requirements and How to Apply
In contrast, if you are a non-EU/EEA traveler wishing to visit Switzerland, you must present the following, upon arriving at the Swiss port of entry:
- A Passport or Travel Document: A passport or other travel document. Valid for at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from Schengen, and issued within the last ten years.
- A visa: If you are subject to the Swiss visa regime, you will need a visa.
Note: British passport holders are exempt from the passport validity and issuance date criteria.
Besides these documents, the Swiss border officer may ask you a few questions about your trip to Switzerland, such as:
- How long do you intend to stay in Switzerland?
- What is your purpose for traveling to Switzerland?
- Where will you stay in Switzerland? Etc.
Note that the border police have the final say on whether or not you are allowed to enter Switzerland. If the Swiss border officer determines that you pose no risk to Switzerland after reviewing your documents, you will be allowed to enter Switzerland and thus the Schengen area.
When entering Switzerland, please ensure that the Swiss border officer stamps your passport. You could be fined or detained if you do not have a stamp.
If you’re a student:
Who Needs a Visa to Visit Switzerland?
If you fall into one of the following categories, you will require a short-stay visa to enter Switzerland and any other Schengen member country:
- You are a national of a third-world country that has not reached an agreement with the Schengen states on visa liberalization.
- A third-world national who has signed a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen states, but you have previously been denied entry into Switzerland or any other Schengen country.
Please keep in mind that these visas allow you to stay in Switzerland for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. If you need a visa to stay in Switzerland for an extended period of time, you should apply for a Swiss National Visa instead.
Switzerland Visa Requirements
The visa requirements for Switzerland are largely determined by the purpose of travel. For example, if you apply for a Swiss business visa, you may be required to submit a business-related document that is not required when applying for a Swiss tourist visa.
However, regardless of the reason for the trip, everyone must have the same set of documents.
In order to apply for a Switzerland visa, you should provide the following documents:
- A completed visa application form for Switzerland.
- Two passport photos that meet Switzerland’s visa photo requirements.
- A current passport. Photocopies of current and previous passports/other travel documents are also required.
- Medical coverage for the duration of your stay in Switzerland.
- A cover letter explaining why you are going to Switzerland.
- Proof of lodging in Switzerland.
- Flight itinerary or evidence of booked flight tickets
- Proof of citizenship/civil status
- Evidence of sufficient financial resources.
- Proof of payment of the Swiss Visa fee.
Switzerland Visa Requirements/Application form
You must fill out the Switzerland visa application form completely and truthfully before submitting it with the rest of your documents.
Passport/other travel documents
When you apply, you must have a valid passport. The passport must be at least ten years old and have at least two blank pages. It must also be valid for at least three months after leaving the Schengen Zone.
You must also submit the following:
- A copy of the personal information page from your passport.
- Personal information pages from any previous passports.
- Copies of any previous visas, as well as all entry and exit stamps
Switzerland visa photos
When applying, you must also submit two recent (within the last six months) photographs of yourself. They must be 35x45mm in size and taken in front of a light background. Your face should take up 70-80% of the space. You must maintain a neutral facial expression while staring directly at the camera.
Medical coverage for the duration of your stay in Switzerland
If you plan to visit Switzerland, you must have valid travel medical insurance for the duration of your stay. It must cover at least €30,000 in medical expenses in all Schengen member countries.
Application or Cover letter
You should also include a cover letter addressed to the embassy that includes the following information:
- Your reason for traveling.
- How you intend to finance your trip.
- If you have a sponsor, describe your relationship with him/her and why they are sponsoring you.
- A summary of your itinerary
If you did not include any required documents: Please explain why.
- Evidence that you intend to return to your home country.
You must also provide a Booked Flight Itinerary and/or Flight Reservation, which includes flight numbers and entry and exit dates from Switzerland.
You must provide proof of lodging for the duration of your stay in Switzerland, whether through hotel reservations, an invitation from your host, or evidence of a pre-paid tour.
Proof of citizenship/civil status
This is accomplished by providing copies of your marriage certificate, birth certificate(s) for your children, and so on.
Evidence of sufficient financial Means
You must demonstrate to Swiss authorities that you will be able to support yourself for the duration of your stay in Switzerland. For each day spent in Switzerland, you must have at least 100 CHF (€92.34).
If you are a student, the fee is reduced to 30 CHF (€27.70) per day.
Switzerland Visa fees
You must pay a non-refundable visa application fee when applying for your Swiss Schengen visa. Even if your application is rejected, you will not be reimbursed for this money.
Additional Switzerland Visa Requirements Based On Your Occupational Status
You must provide the appropriate documents depending on whether you are employed, a student, or self-employed.
If Employed: provide the following
- Employment agreement/contract
- The last six-month bank statement
- Employer approval for a leave of absence
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- a copy of your business license
- Bank statement for the last six months of the company
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form
- Certificate of no objection from a school or university
If you are retired:
- Pension statement for the previous six months
- Proof of a property’s regular income over the last six months.
Switzerland Visa Requirements Based on the Purpose of Travel
You may also be required to provide additional documents depending on the purpose of your trip.
Switzerland Airport Transit Visa Requirements
If you need to land at a Swiss airport to wait in the international terminal for a connecting flight to your non-Schengen destination country, you must apply for a Switzerland Airport Transit Visa.
Documents Required for an Airport Transit Schengen Visa to Switzerland
When applying for a Switzerland Airport Transit visa, you must also provide the following documents:
- A valid visa (if required) for the destination country.
- The flight ticket for the final destination country.
Switzerland Visitor Visa Requirements
Visa Requirements for Visitors to Switzerland
In order to visit a family member or a friend who lives in Switzerland on their invitation, you must apply for a Swiss Visitor Visa when applying for a short-stay visa to Switzerland.
Documents Required for a Schengen Visitor Visa to Switzerland
When applying for a visa to visit friends or relatives in Switzerland, you must also provide the following documents:
- The host’s invitation letter, duly signed. The invitation must include the following information for each invited person: name, first name, date of birth (exactly as it appears on the passport), as well as the purpose and duration of the visit.
- Passport, identity card, or residence permit of the host
- Evidence of a relationship with the host in Switzerland.
How to Apply for a Swiss Short-Stay Visa
To complete the application process for a short-stay visa to Switzerland, you must complete the following steps:
- Determine which visa type you require to enter Switzerland.
- Determine where you must submit your visa application.
- Fill out the application for a Swiss short-stay visa.
- Gather the documents needed for a Switzerland visa.
- Schedule a visa appointment.
- Attend the interview at the Swiss Embassy/Consulate/VAC of your choice.
Wait for your visa application to be processed after completing the steps outlined above.
Where to Apply for a Swiss Visa?
Where you will have to apply depends largely upon how Swiss authorities have regulated visa admission in your country of residence. As a result, you must apply at one of Switzerland’s diplomatic missions in the country in which you live:
- The Swiss Embassy
- A Swiss consulate
- A Visa Application Center to which Switzerland has outsourced visa submission
- The Embassy / Consulate of another Schengen country to which Switzerland has outsourced visa submission.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Visa to Switzerland?
A Switzerland short-stay visa can take up to 15 days to process. However, depending on your specific circumstances, this period may be extended up to 30 days. In exceptional cases, the Swiss embassies may need to consult with other Schengen consulates, which can take up to 60 days.
To avoid any delays in the issuance of your Swiss short-stay visa, submit your application as soon as possible, but no later than three months before your trip.
How long can we stay in Switzerland without a visa?
You will be unable to enter Switzerland or any other country if you are a national of a country that has not yet signed a visa-free agreement with the Schengen countries (aside from transiting).
If you are a national of a visa-exempt country, you can enter and stay in Switzerland and the other Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days within a 6-month period.
Important Note: Make sure you understand the Schengen Visa Rule of 90/180 days. Do not break this rule, even for a single day, because you may face consequences for overstaying in the Schengen territory.
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